Refund Please

28 09 2009
During two internships at investment banks, feeling uncomfortable having ESPN.com open on my company’s computer all day, I found myself in the Bloomberg sports section quite frequently. One of the main writers in this section was Scott Soshnick. Nearly every article I read of his was filled with nonsense. Making ludicrous claims, random anecdotes and idiotic conclusions were just a few of his specialties. But with no outlet to vent I was stuck frustrated in my cubicle. Now that I have my blog I get the chance to break down his articles FJM style. His latest disaster is below in bold with my hysterical responses in between.
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — The recession just might be the best thing that could have happened to sports fans.
[No argument there. My dad will be the first one to tell you that he’s been to almost twice as many sporting events since his net worth was cut in half. It’s all about priorities people.]
These difficult economic times have, as billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban pointed out, forced owners, administrators and even coaches to make a priority of ensuring that customers get their money’s worth.
[See: cage dancers at the new Cowboys stadium]
What if, after the final buzzer blares, the customer isn’t satisfied? Imagine submitting a refund request.
Now imagine getting it.
[Now imagine opening the envelope and realizing it was actually a birthday check from your grandma. 36 dollars. Ugh.]
This is the tale of Tony Seminary, an ardent supporter of the University of Oregon football team. This 1996 graduate is passionate about his Ducks, who opened the season ranked 16th in national polls. Seminary has season tickets. And he sometimes travels to road games, too.
Such was the case in Oregon’s Sept. 3 season-opening game at Boise State, in Idaho, where the attraction included a blue field as well as an entertaining and nationally ranked team.
When it was over, Boise State had outgained Oregon 361 yards to 152. Boise State amassed 22 first downs to Oregon’s six, the first of which came about midway through the third quarter.
Final score: Boise State 19, Oregon 8.
[What!? An 11 point loss to Boise State?! I am absolutely furious, and I don’t even care about Oregon. Surely a super fan like Tony Seminary must be at the point of uncontrollable rage.
Boise State: Currently ranked #5 in ESPN Coaches Poll
2008: 12-0
2007: 10-2
2006: 12-0
2005: 9-3
2004: 11-0
Like I said, uncontrollable rage.]
That wasn’t the worst of it for the Ducks, who wound up answering more questions about fisticuffs than first downs.
[Fisticuff: Surprisingly not a brand of toddler sippy cups.]
Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount lost his temper and sucker-punched an opposing player. The ugliness, both football and fight, left Seminary disgusted. Like most of us, he left the stadium feeling as if he’d just wasted his time and money. Most get over it. Seminary stewed.
[I on the other hand, chowdered.]
So he fired off an e-mail to Ducks coach Chip Kelly, asking for his money back. Seminary attached an invoice of expenses, including plane and game tickets, meals and cab fare. The total was $439.
“The product on the field Thursday night is not something I was at all proud of, and I feel as though I’m entitled to my money back for the trip,” wrote Seminary, who was kind enough to offer to provide receipts.
[How thoughtful of him. But I think he was just trying to avoid getting stuck with store credit.]
Only the coach replied, asking for Seminary’s address. A check for $439 arrived a few days later.
No words needed. His action speaks volumes.
[Quite the respectable move. But really? What is the coach trying to prove here. Clearly the athletic department is going to get bombarded with requests for refunds. It was the first game of the season! On the road against a notoriously good team. Cut the team some slack and be realistic.]
Seminary, in case you’re wondering, didn’t cash the check. It was returned to the coach, along with a thank-you note and business card.
[Ohhhh, so he didn’t want a refund. What a wonderful story!
Your article ends here right?]
Predictably, there’s been a rash of refund requests landing at the Oregon athletic department. Seminary asks that they stop, saying the coach’s action shows that he and the university care about customer satisfaction.
[I guess not.]
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder should offer a refund after rookie linebacker Robert Henson used Twitter to label fans who booed the home team “dimwits.”
Snyder won’t.
[Yea! What’s a stadium capacity refund gonna cost him? 5 grand? 6 grand? Pocket change!]
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should issue refunds to anyone who bought a so-called Party Pass to the team’s stadium- opening game against the New York Giants. Tens of thousands paid $29 and never got in. That didn’t stop the Cowboys from promoting their record crowd of 105,121.
Jones won’t.
[Probably the only legitimate argument in this whole article. Too bad he only devotes 2 sentences to it.]
The Chicago Cubs should offer a refund to any fan disgusted that portly pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who is being paid $18.7 million this season, only now recognizes that he needs to take conditioning seriously.
“My problem is I’ve been lazy,” the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Zambrano said after a trip to the disabled list earlier this season.
[He should talk to Dan Snyder, so they can agree upon a reasonable refund, because these two situations clearly go hand-in-hand.]
Those who inhabit Wrigley Field need to be less friendly. And less forgiving.
Refund, please.
[You really don’t see the link between your shitty article and these shitty situations. Mr. Bloomberg…Refund, please.]
The Ducks face sixth-ranked California at home on Saturday afternoon, where some 54,000 fans are sure to pack Autzen Stadium. Win or lose, they’ve already gotten their money’s worth from this team.
They have a coach that gets it.
[This weekend, the Oregon Ducks spanked, I repeat, spanked the number 6 ranked California Bears 42-3. Another glaring indication that their lapse in play occurred in the FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON. Coach Kelly should have asked the fans for a 20% tip. I mean the service was just fantastic!]